According to Mediaite, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended embattled House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) by bringing up President Barack Obama‘s association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and questioning why Obama got a “pass.” Gingrich discussed it on the program Face The Nation.
“The president explained he didn’t hear any of [Wright’s controversial remarks about America], and we all gave him a pass,” Gingrich told Bob Scieffer on the show, adding Obama made a “great speech” in Philadelphia as a candidate when he attempted to distance himself from Wright.
A House GOP leader has acknowledged that he once addressed a gathering of white supremacists, though his office denies any association with the group’s social views.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the chamber’s third-ranking Republican, served in the Louisiana Legislature when he appeared in 2002 at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO).
The group was founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the group as a hate group.
In a written statement, Scalise aide Moira Bagley Smith confirmed that Scalise addressed the group as it gathered at a hotel near the neighborhoods that both Scalise and Duke represented during separate terms as state lawmakers.